Starting Your Own Hat Wear Line – How to Reproduce Your Design Idea Onto a Hat

In the 10 years I have been producing custom designed hat wear for various customers, I have come across many different design ideas from a lot of highly creative people. There are many ways of reproducing a design on a hat. Some ways may be more suitable than others for any particular design. Here are the factors that determine which method is appropriate:

1. If your design consists of only line art:

Note: A line art is a design image that has only solid color lines and solid color areas. If there are people in the artwork, they would look like cartoon characters, instead of a photographic image. If there were any words, they would be solid lines and colors without any half tones, shading or fade-away effects.

In general, line arts are the easiest to reproduce on hats. You can screen-print the design provided the hats don’t have a front center seam as the printing might crack in the middle. If you want to print on a 6-panel hat, you would have to use a method called puff printing. The design is slightly raised from the hat surface and it has a plastic appearance. The colors are very vivid. You can off course embroider your designs, which has a very rich appearance. If you only have thick lines in the design, you might also be able to do 3-D puff embroidery on the hat. This is a very expansive decoration method, and few vendors in the US can do it well on pre-made hats. If you are making your hats from scratch, then this might be an option you want to consider.

2. If your design is a photograph:

Surprisingly, embroidery can reproduce many photographic designs fairly well, say the face of a dog. I would not recommend embroidering the face of a person, say from a family photo, unless you first reduce the complexity to a line art form. For a design with various shading areas and half tone colors, various puff-printing methods are best. You can either print directly on the hats, or you can print the design on a separate fabric, then sew it onto the hats. These methods are usually done overseas in Asia, and therefore require a higher minimum quantity, say 600 to 720 pieces. There is usually a high setup charge involved as well if there are multiple colors, half tones, shadings etc.

3. If you design is made up primarily of words:

This would be similar to line art. However, if you want to embroider your design, keep in mind that there is a minimum size restriction. Imagine the embroidery needle sewing out a word. The needle can only register details to a certain extend. And the smaller the alphabets, the more difficult it is for the needle to register a line clearly. Also, the font you use in the word affects the outcome of the embroidery process greatly. If you choose a thick, chubby, or blocky font, it is much easier to embroider than say a delicate script font. Keep each alphabet as big as possible, the minimum size being 3/16 of an inch wide.

4. If your design has combinations of the above mentioned elements:

You can always combine different methods of decoration on a single hat. However, this will greatly impact your production costs and you would need to pay setup for each of these processes. If you plan product thousands of the same design, this might be feasible. But if your quantity is in the hundreds, this will likely double your production costs as compared to a single method of decoration.

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Teens: How to Prepare and What NOT to Wear on Your Mexican Jungle Tour – Look totally in Fashion!

Teens (and adults, too) ~ ziplining, hiking and cave snorkelling in the jungle is no excuse to look drab!

Any day trip you make in the Yucatan, Mexico, home of the ancient Mayan, whether it be tripping around Chichen Itza, hiking through the Tulum jungle or ATVing along ancient Mayan sacbe’s, it is cool to be fashionable and not packing the kitchen sink.

Being a local in the jungles and beaches of the ancient Mayan world all my life and knowing a lot of adventure guides I have written “What To Prepare and What NOT to Wear” guidelines that are shared in two parts.

My name is Landis Grace and welcome to the jungles and adventures of the ancient Mayans.

1) DO NOT bring a huge backpack that is ugly and makes you look like Marco Polo. In a style that matches your swimsuit bring a small stylish backpack or even a beachbag with long handles that you can use like a backpack. I like the small backpack better because it has pockets but the beach bag will do, too. As long as it matches your swimsuit.

2) DO NOT bring your wallet. Wallets are heavy – Put the cash you think you will need for the day (preferably pesos but American dollars are accepted mostly everywhere), some identification like your health card, social insurance card and a credit card in a sandwich size ziploc bag to keep it dry from the water bottle, wet towel or even in the unlikely event of rain. Leave your important identification like your passport and the rest of your cash in the safe in the hotel. Don’t bring another smaller purse to put in the big purse – it adds unnecessary weight and if you have two purses your ‘purse-instinct’ might let you leave one of them somewhere.

3) DO NOT wear hiking boots – they are ugly, heavy, take too long to dry and you will not need them! DO wear some nice sandals, of course comfortable without tall heels so you can walk in them without socks, yuck, and the best would be sandals that could get wet and would dry quickly… leather is okay, but leather doesn’t dry fast. Even though the weather is perfect here in Mexico there are the odd puddles ~ and you want to be able to happily stomp through them not worrying about the state of the shoes afterwards! The jungle is the place to get back in touch with your inner child, not spending the day in wet leather hiking boots!

4) DO NOT get caught with uncharged batteries or a full chip on your camera or phone! Make sure you charge up everything the night before you leave – and download any photos you don’t need ~ you don’t want to be fumbling for your battery or deleting photos to make room as that spider monkey whooshes past you on your jungle walk! And – ziploc bag the stuff you don’t want to get wet!

5) DO NOT go without food! We have precious sugar levels to keep up! There is no reason why we have to starve waiting for the lunch stop. When you are booking your trip ask if lunch “comida/komeeeedah is/es incluido/inclueeeedoh”. Even if it is, it will probably mean a designated stop at a designated time so until then you might get hungry. Try to take small snacks from your hotel the morning of your trip to suffice on the bus, or between the opportunities of finding a snack or lunch stand. Grab some hard snacks like apples, cookies or oranges from your hotel, and have everything pre-washed with bottled water if it hasn’t been already. You can do like the Mayans and pre-peel the oranges so all you do is eat from the bag. Throw some paper towels in the ziploc bag as well. Don’t bother with food like bananas and grapes as they get soft and squishy in minutes in the Mexican heat! Once you are inside the ruins, there may be no time nor availability for food.

6) DO NOT dehydrate! Grab a lime or two from your hotel and squirt some in your water bottles ~ it tastes better. Maybe even add a little sugar. And this is another suggestion – a lot of people like to freeze their water bottles the night before, but I do not recommend this – first off, it will go from being frozen to lukewarm very fast and in the meantime unless it is in a ziploc bag it will make a mess in your beach bag or backpack with the condensation. Leave it room temperature, that is the best for your stomach anyways. (the plastic bag is still a good idea anyways though)

7) DO NOT have streaky makeup ~ no, no, no ~ chicas, this is why waterproof mascara was invented – in another small plastic bag bring a small mirror in a crash-proof compact, waterproof mascara for touchups, lipstick (that matches your swimsuit and backpack) and a couple of paper napkins for sneezing, cleaning or wiping. If you are a fashion queen you could bring a hair brush, but a small one. Bring some extra hair elastics.

8) DO NOT bring a huge container of sunscreen! Transfer a small amount of sunscreen into a small plastic bag or small bottle. Start the morning with some on, and you won’t have to reapply until mid way through the trip, and probably only once.

9) DO NOT eat food from vendors that cannot be cleaned by you. Some of the local people will be selling food like bags of peeled oranges, pineapple, or peanuts outside the entrances of most of the ruins ~ I have personally eaten those but I wash fruit first with my bottled water. Peanuts in the shell are better or course. Unless you are starving though, best not to chance anything. It’s not necessarily a cleanliness issue, because I am fine with all the foods I eat here in Mexico, but when I go back to Canada every summer my stomach feels queasy there for awhile – so I think it is just what we become accustomed to – so don’t take a chance if you don’t need to.

So now you know what your backpack is filled with for your trip. – camera, phone, plastic bag as wallet, plastic bag with a small amount of sunscreen, water bottle, compact, tissue, lipstick, mascara, maybe a hairbrush, elastics and for the first half of the trip anyways, apples, oranges and cookies. Not bad. You are probably thinking what about towels, and swimsuits and changes of clothing and all that stuff? Well I have some really good jungle fashion ideas about that, too, that I will share with you in DRESS FASHiONABLY iN THE JUNGLE! ~ How to Prepare and What to Wear on your Mexican Jungle Tour PART 2.

Why We Wear New Clothes on Easter – A History of the Tradition From a Fashion School Perspective

Many of us can remember our parents dressing us up in new clothes every Easter so we could parade around the neighborhood in our finest. It was a fun tradition to look forward to (or avoid, as some fashion-phobic children were known to do), whether we went to church or not. But where did this tradition come from? A look through history shows that its origins are not what we might expect. And examining the custom from a fashion school point of view, we see how changing retailing patterns have altered its significance.

Origins in other cultures. Although we associate wearing new clothes in spring with the Easter holiday, the tradition dates back to ancient times. Pagan worshipers celebrated the vernal equinox with a festival in honor of Ostera, the Germanic Goddess of Spring, and believed that wearing new clothes brought good luck. The Iranian new year, celebrated on the first day of Spring, has traditions rooted in the ancient pre-Islamic past. These traditions include spring cleaning and wearing new clothes to signify renewal and optimism. Similarly, the Chinese have celebrated its spring festival, also known as Lunar New Year, by wearing new clothes. It symbolized not only new beginnings, but the idea that people have more than they possibly need.

Christian beginnings. In the early days of Christianity, newly baptized Christians wore white linen robes at Easter to symbolize rebirth and new life. But it was not until 300 A.D. that wearing new clothes became an official decree, as the Roman emperor Constantine declared that his court must wear the finest new clothing on Easter. Eventually, the tradition came to mark the end of Lent, when after wearing weeks of the same clothes, worshipers discarded the old frocks for new ones.

Superstitions. A 15th-century proverb from Poor Robin’s Almanack stated that if one’s clothes on Easter were not new, one would have bad luck: “At Easter let your clothes be new; Or else for sure you will it rue.” In the 16th Century during the Tudor reign, it was believed that unless a person wore new garments at Easter, moths would eat the old ones, and evil crows would nest around their homes.

Post Civil War. Easter traditions as we know it were not celebrated in America until after the Civil War. Before that time, Puritans and the Protestant churches saw no good purpose in religious celebrations. After the devastation of the war, however, the churches saw Easter as a source of hope for Americans. Easter was called “The Sunday of Joy,” and women traded the dark colors of mourning for the happier colors of spring.

The Easter Parade. In the 1870s, the tradition of the New York Easter Parade began, in which women decked out in their newest and most fashionable clothing walked between the beautiful gothic churches on Fifth Avenue. The parade became one of the premier events of fashion design, a precursor to New York Fashion Week, if you will. It was famous around the country, and people who were poor or from the middle class would watch the parade to witness the latest trends in fashion design. Soon, clothing retailers leveraged the parade’s popularity and used Easter as a promotional tool in selling their garments. By the turn of the century, the holiday was as important to retailers as Christmas is today.

The American Dream. By the middle of the 20th Century, dressing up for Easter had lost much of any religious significance it might have had, and instead symbolized American prosperity. A look at vintage clothing ads in a fashion school library shows that wearing new clothes on Easter was something every wholesome, All-American family was expected to do.

Attitudes today. Although many of us may still don new clothes on Easter, the tradition doesn’t feel as special, not because of any religious ambivalence, but because we buy and wear new clothes all the time. At one time in this country, middle class families shopped only one or two times a year at the local store or from a catalog. But in the last few decades, retailing options have boomed. There’s a Gap on every corner, and countless internet merchants allow us to shop 24/7. No wonder young people today hear the Irving Berlin song “Easter Parade” and have no idea what it means.

It’s interesting to see where the tradition of wearing new clothes on Easter began, and how it’s evolved through the years. Even with changing times, however, the custom will surely continue in some form. After all, fashionistas love a reason to shop.